INTA Signs Cooperation Agreement with China Trademark Association, Encouraging Ongoing Cooperation

Published: July 15, 2019

In furtherance of global collaboration, INTA President David Lossignol (Novartis Pharma AG, Switzerland) and China Trademark Association (CTA) President Ma Fu recently signed a cooperation agreement-establishing a framework for ongoing cooperation in the areas of education, training, and information-sharing. This agreement serves to strengthen and deepen the well-established relationship between the two entities, which has been ongoing for many years.

INTA Engages with Senior China Delegations

In anticipation of INTA’s 2019 Annual Meeting, receptions were held across China from late March to early May in three major intellectual property (IP) hubs: Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. Each of these presented highly engaging offerings on some of the most relevant topics to local jurisdictions. all in all, these events drew more than 400 participants from the IP community.

At the 2019 Annual Meeting, INTA engaged with a high-level, extremely diverse group of Chinese official delegations from Chinese IP government departments, including the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), which houses the China Trademark Office (CTMO); the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR); and the Chinese judiciary.

Five sets of senior officials (with three at the Director-General level) and influential policy makers were represented at the Annual Meeting, along with key policy makers in the fields of trademark prosecution and administrative enforcement. These groups, with whom INTA has been working for many years, are profoundly influential in shaping China’s IP restructuring.

This year also marked the first time that two crucially important lower courts of Beijing (the Beijing Intellectual Property Court and the Beijing High Court) attended the Annual Meeting along with the Supreme People’s Court

The Annual Meeting facilitated ongoing conversations between Chinese senior IP officials and INTA leadership and members, by conducting a series of productive discussions on key IP developments with various INTA committees to further the positive development of trademarks and other IP legislation.

In addition, representatives of three industry associations: the China Trademark Association (CTA), Quality Brand Protection Committee, and the China Anti-Infringement & Anti-Counterfeit Innovation Strategic Alliance, participated in general sessions as well as welcome receptions.

Commitment to Fight Against Bad-Faith Trademark Applications

Since the internal restructuring of the CTMO in March, the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board and Trademark Examination and Coordination Center ceased to exist, and merged into a broadened CTMO to function in the name of CNIPA. Three officials from these organizations led delegations to the 2019 Annual Meeting, not only to attend the TM5 Users’ Meeting (a multilateral cooperation forum of the five largest trademark offices in the world) but also to conduct a productive meeting with China TOPC Subcommittee members-sending across the clear message of CNIPA’s strong commitment to cracking down on bad-faith trademark applications in China as reflected in the Fourth Amendment to the E-Commerce Law of the People’s Republic of China.

The Director General of the Law Enforcement and Inspection Bureau (which was recently reorganized under the SAMR) paid his first overseas visit in that role to the 2019 Annual Meeting. He met with the members of INTA’s Anticounterfeiting-China Subcommittee to discuss responsibilities and work priorities in the coming months. The Law Enforcement and Inspection Bureau is tasked with organizing and overseeing investigations and enforcement against major cases of national implication, or those which have trans-provincial/municipal geographical reaching. IP rights enforcement against trademark, geographical indications or patent infringement, counterfeiting, and unfair competition that violate consumers’ rights, also falls under the jurisdiction of the Bureau.

Three important judges from China participated in the Judges Workshop at the Annual Meeting to share their experience developing strategies for tackling bad-faith trademark applications, and insights on the opposition appeal system and precedents in China. The Beijing Intellectual Property Court has the widest exposure to those cases with foreign litigant elements. Moreover, the court promulgates internal guidelines within the court system that indicates of future case trends.

INTA’s China Representative Office based in Shanghai represents the Association’s 235 members in China. Working in collaboration with staff at INTA’s headquarters in New York City, the China Representative Office leads the Association’s policy, membership, marketing, and communications initiatives in these jurisdictions. To learn more about INTA’s activities in China, please contact INTA’s China Representative, Monica Su at [email protected] or Vicky Dai at [email protected].

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

© 2019 International Trademark Association